It was now February of 1999. In the past four months, the NC design had developed sustainability. The Bostrom alliance agreement for the truck market had been concluded. The question about Elio's strategy for the entry into automobile still remained. Should Elio's joint venture with Bostrom? Should it partner with a tier-one or a tier-two automotive supplier? Was Elio's technology strategy aligned with the requirements for a successful entry into the automotive market? Paul and Hari realized that they needed answers to these questions in the coming days.
This case study discusses the start-up, origins and strategic options facing an innovative set up and start up in automotive market and in the seat design. With the domination of the incumbent large suppliers serving the top 3 leading tier-one automakers of U.S.,
Engineering faces several challenges as it seeks to introduce its new seating technology to the market. The case can serve as vehicle to discuss important themes such as technology and business strategy, invention and innovation, bringing technology to market and profiting from innovation.
Elio's should make a joint venture with Bostrom. Elio's has made a seat design naming "No Compromise" with progress on cost, weight and performance compared to the conventional design and also the existing all-belt-to-seat (ABTS). After many functional prototypes and computer aided structural analysis, a perfect design was achieved, but few of the critical items had not yet been patented properly. It would be extremely difficult for a brand new entrant to be ready with patented seat design and unveil the NC seat as few of the critical items had not yet patented properly and also because of some internal political issues. So, with out any help from the established industry it won't be possible for Elio's engineering to prototype and test their NC seat as it is not feasible financially and many other issues. So, Bostrom seating which is a wholly owned...
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